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Utah artist makes trash into treasure for music video

By Mike Anderson | Posted - Nov 15th, 2013 @ 9:47pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah sculptor is garnering attention after one of his pieces was highlighted in an Imagine Dragons music video.

If you can't quite tell what one of Andrew Smith's sculptures is made out of, then you are not alone. Smith specializes in taking one man's trash and making it into treasure.

Smith himself has trouble remembering where he got each piece that goes into his sculptures or what they used to be.

"I don't even know what these are. They're air tanks of some sort," Smith said.

Smith is always on the lookout for materials, from the junk yard to military surplus stores.

"A lot of it is stuff I got from my dad, a lot of it is stuff that I've collected. And it's just cool parts and shapes," Smith said. "What I look for are shapes that fit the aesthetic of what I'm looking for."

One of Smith's recent creations appeared in the video "On Top of the World" by the band Imagine Dragons, who got their start in Utah. They also filmed the video on BYU's campus.

The video is an interpretation of an Apollo-era moon landing, and Smith's piece plays the part of a lunar lander.

Smith said the core structure is an 1,100-gallon water tank, and the rest of the structure is made of various parts from "something military" to glasses from a restaurant supply store.

"It's such a dominating presence that it's really kind of a character in the video," Smith said.

But a miniature lunar lander is only the tip of the iceberg for Smith. He's currently working on two 15-foot robots for Glen Beck's live show, Man in the Moon.

"Technically, yes, by far this (robot) is the most elaborate piece I've ever done," Smith said.

He said that creating these pieces is a job that he only dreamed of as a kid.

"I never wanted to grow up," Smith said. "It's kind of being able to do what I always wanted to do as a kid build things, and build contraptions and machines and stuff, but being a grown up and being able to use grown up tools to do it."


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